The Thinking 

Death of a Firefighter

October 24, 2014



CHRISTI RODGERS, a 26-year-old volunteer firefighter, delivered her first child one month ago. This morning, she was awoken suddenly at 5 a.m by an emergency alarm for a house fire. She never arrived at the scene of the blaze. The Pennsylvania woman went into cardiac arrest after the call and now her child and husband are without a mother and wife. Perhaps she would have died young anyway. But one cannot help but wonder if the sudden call in her fragile condition caused her death. [See reader comment below. She had the baby by Caesarean. She was not just caring for a newborn but recovering from major surgery.]

This is very sad, and so is the idea of a new mother fighting fires. In fact, the idea of women fighting fires at all is sad and outrageous. Feminism has so eroded the natural aversion toward placing women in danger that many don’t even question the increasing prevalence of women firefighters and soldiers and police officers — or consider the ramifications. Women who are pregnant or recovering from childbirth are now routinely expected to exert themselves. And they call this liberation?

Perhaps Rodgers loved being a firefighter. Perhaps she was good at it. But she shouldn’t have been permitted to be a firefighter unless she lived in a town with a severe shortage of men.


— Comments —

A reader writes:

Apparently, she died as a result of clots developing in her legs after a Caesarean. Her son was several weeks premature. She had been on hospitalized bed rest before the birth, and well after his birth. Today was her first day back to work. She died of a pulmonary embolism. It is beyond tragic. The newspaper paints a surreal picture of a beloved firefighter, but the reality of her life is even more tragic.

Terry Morris writes:

The selection of new firefighters on these volunteer fire departments is usually made by democratic vote. When my father was Chief of my home town fire department my youngest sister decided she wanted to be a fireman. She was voted down decisively according to my Dad (this was probably ten years ago), and due to no small influence from her mother. :-)

“Perhaps she was good at it.”

I very highly doubt she was very good at firefighting, judging by her looks in her pictures (she doesn’t seem particularly strong or ‘in shape’ to me.). When I was on the local volunteer fire department many moons ago, I found myself in several life-threatening situations that hinged on strength, endurance, a good set of lungs and the ability to stay calm and think clearly in high-stress situations. In other words, youth and masculinity. I’ll grant she may have been ‘good’ at dispatching or turning knobs on the truck(s), but that’s not exactly fighting fires.

[See more discussion here.]

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